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Grupo Afro Boricua

Grupo Afro Boricua, is one of the leading proponents of the bomba and plena genres of music. These are Puerto Rico’s traditional musical forms, that the group has beautifully arranged, and impressively delivered by talented musicians and dancers. They have brought new life into an art form that is a rich and vibrant expression of Puerto Rico.

Naturally, the various members of the group have left their own particular experience and preferences in style or genre (bomba versus plena), on the music they perform. In addition the group’s members come different regions that also affect the arrangements and performance: from Loiza, the south and western parts of the island. It is the smooth melding of these diverse influences on the interpretation of the music that separates the group fom others.

The group is led by composer, arranger and performer (conch shells, trombone, piano, and vocals) William Cepeda whose arrangements never violate the simple elegence of the genres roots. Yet Cepeda has elaborated with innovative musicasl twists and give the music great verve. The percussion is not just a rhythmic platform but the essence of the vehicle that gets one to the discovery of a modern interpretation of the classic.

Other members of this richly talented group are: Antonio Martínez on lead vocals, Nellie Lebrón on lead vocals and bass guitar, Roberto Cepeda on vocals, percussionists Hector Matos, Hector Calderón, Luis Cepeda, and Angel Mojica.

The group released their debut album, Bombazo, featuring tracks inspired by various sources, from the works of famous Puerto Rican poet, Luis Pales Matos, to the exquisite ballad “Lamento Borincano”, composed by Rafael Hernendez, and even contemporary salsa songs like “Amalia”, formerly interpreted by Willie Colón and Hector LaVoe. The album also includes a tribute to the legendary Puerto Rican pleneros Rafael Cortijo and Ismael Rivera with the song “El Belén”, as well a bomba style track, Seshuque y Balance.

Discography

Bombaso (1998)

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